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Discussion in 'Books / Publications Forum' started by SaggyWoman, Sep 30, 2012.
Have you read it and what do you think?
I have not read it nor heard of it but the title is offensive to me. So it is not likely I ever will.
Apparently one chapter available for free. Haven't read it, but this comment on the linked page amused (more like saddened) me:
If you're going to write a book, I recommend you learn the definitions of key words. Prodigal would be one of those words. God is hardly "reckless" or "wastefully extravagant." It seems he tried to use prodigal as a sort of synonym for lavish. Sadly, misusing words will turn people off before they even read the book. I had the same initial reaction Revmitchell had... I'd be willing to read the book (if I had the time), but I suspect a title change is in order.
As a closing note, I'm also annoyed that D. A. Carson misused the term prodigal in his recommendation for the text. It almost makes me wonder if I don't know the definition of the word.
Tim Challies is a solid book reviewer (and pastor) in my opinion and he said that it's an excellent book. Here is his review:
Pastor Keller also has a video series on this available for small group/SS Bible studies. It's quite good. Don't let the title keep you away from a very good book.
It may be but the title is outrages. I will have nothing to do with it.
For those who are concerned about the title, I would encourage them to read what the author says --
"What’s the book about? It’s about being ‘prodigal.’ The word ‘prodigal’ is an English word that means recklessly extravagant, spending to the point of poverty. The dictionaries tell us that the word can be understood in a more negative or a more positive sense. The more positive meaning is to be lavishly and sacrificially abundant in giving. The more negative sense is to be wasteful and irresponsible in one’s spending. (Some people think prodigal means ‘wayward,’ but there is no dictionary that indicates that the word means ‘immoral.’) The negative sense obviously applies to the actions of the younger brother in the Luke 15 parable. But is there any sense in which God can be called ‘prodigal’? I think so.
First, the elder brother is offended by the father’s extravagant and (to him) irresponsible welcome of his younger brother. The father, of course, represents God, and legalists are always offended by the gospel of free grace. They see it as wasteful and unfair. After all, they worked for their acceptance. These are the people to whom Jesus was telling the parable in the first place—the Pharisees who objected to Jesus’ lavish grace to tax collectors and sinners. They certainly thought Jesus was being far too free and irresponsible with the love and favor he was promising them from God. Jesus depicts them in the parable as the elder brother upset with his father’s prodigality.
Second, the positive meaning of the term ‘prodigal’ is definitely true of God. He spent himself to the uttermost on the Cross. He did so ‘recklessly’ in the sense that he did not reckon the cost to himself. Jesus was someone who spent himself into helpless poverty (2 Corinthians 8:9) and was ‘in want’ in the most extreme way."
Here is the web site for more info --
It is too bad that our old English prejudices and misunderstandings will keep many from reading an excellent book.
Yep. Here is the Webster's 1828 definition of "prodigal". I always thought it meant someone who strayed!
I have not read it yet, but it is on my list of books I want to read.
It is a pretty quick read if you don't find yourself re reading it.
I'm glad those with more research gusto than me have point out that the word Prodigal CAN describe God's pouring out of mercy and favor, when used and explained appropriately...
I read it close to when it came out. It is indeed an excellent book. I kept rereading pieces because it spoke so profoundly to me. Now I'm wishing it was here and not at the house so I could look through it.
Crazy that people will let a name keep them from reading such an excellent book. Keller is a blessing to the church today and this would be a helpful book for all believers to read.
It is offensive to me that someone has used the name "rev" in their screen name here, so I will no longer read their posts.
I finished it this week and found it good and profound. I recommend.